Patra's Other Place

I started out with Patra's Place, primarily dedicated to my linen collection and stitching projects. But I kept getting side-tracked, so I decided to create Patra's Other Place for anything not related to embroidery topics. So you now have a choice. If you are interested in me, read this. If you only want to see my linen and stitching, visit Patra's (original) Place! (Please note that by clicking on any of the photos, they will be enlarged to fill your computer screen.)

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Location: Melbourne, Vic., Australia

I am married to Ken. We have no children except a cat and a collection of Australian parrots, finches, canaries and a dozen hens.

Friday, July 29, 2016

New car!

Today I drove my old car to Mantello Holden over at Fawkner, and Ken drove my new car home!
If he hadn't been able to do that, it wouldn't have mattered - I would have driven it myself, even though I'm a bit nervous about driving an automatic car after 20 years of driving manual cars.  It is still a Barina after all, with basically the same controls, although the new one has a lot more techo. stuff that I have to get used to!  Ken really enjoyed driving it; like most blokes he just loves driving something different for a change.  Tomorrow I will have to get to grips with it and take it for a spin, as the longer I leave it, the less I will feel like driving it!  I hate change, even if it is for the better :-(

On the way home, we stopped off at TyrePower in Eltham, whose mechanics have looked after our cars for years.  The guys had told me to bring it it to show them, so we did.  While we were there, I coaxed one of them to fit the seat covers on the seats for me.  I had someone take them off the old car over at Mantellos, but didn't like to ask them to put the covers on the new car, as they are fiddly and it takes a while to get them right.  So I have my leopard print covers on the seats, my blue crocheted rug over the back seat, and my bits and pieces in the glove box.  I used to have a little blue and yellow felt whale hanging from the rear vision mirror, which always annoyed Ken, and he said "you're not going to put that whale thing up in your new car are you?"  I didn't reply, but when I held it up to see how it would look, I decided not to hang it there, as the colour is all wrong for the new car.  So Ken got his way, lol!

Here I am with Dean, the salesman - who had just shown us how to work all the gadgets.


Thursday, July 28, 2016

What I am doing these days.

Mostly looking after Ken, but that doesn't mean he is bedridden!  But he doesn't go out and about as much as he used to, and hasn't ridden his bikes for a couple of years.  He still enjoys driving his orange ute, but most of the time I drive him to wherever he needs to go, mostly medical appointments.  I have taken over the job of looking after the chooks and the aviary birds, but that is not a chore for me, as I love them as much as Ken does, and am happy to feed and water them every day.

I lost two dear friends last month.  Helen and Denise died within a week of each other.  Helen's death was an awful shock for everybody - she had an abdominal anyerism, something I'd never heard of, but subsequently found out there are no warning signs, and people don't usually survive.
I got to know my other friend Denise through Helen, as we shared a love of embroidered linens.  Denise was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer about 12 years ago, but refused chemo or radiation treatment.  She said all that does is destroy your immune system, and she needed her immune system healthy to see her through the next few years, which it did, much to the amazement of her doctors!
She carried on her usual life of shopping and meeting with friends up to about two years ago, when her health deteriorated to the point where she wasn't able to leave her home.  So while her death came as no surprise, it was still very sad for her family and friends.

On a lighter note, my 14 year old car has developed a few rattles and hiccups that the mechanic can't seem to fix, so before I found myself stranded on the side of a road somewhere, I decided to look for a new car.  I didn't actually want a brand new car, but the one I found is less than a year old, and was a demo model for a Holden dealer, so it has only done low mileage, and is in new condition.  It is another Barina (my third) and I chose it because I have had my previous Barinas for over ten years, and they never let me down, so why change?  I pick it up tomorrow.  Ken said tonight "are you excited?" and I said "no, more nervous than excited.  I am scared of driving it out of the car yard and getting a dent on it within five minutes, and have you yell at me!"

Monday, May 09, 2016

Apologies to those who are still following this blog.

I spend most of my online time on the Down To Earth forum, or Pinterest these days, and as a result, I'm not posting anything here, because I would be doubling up on what I've posted on the DTE forum.  But I keep my stitching blog up to date, so if you want to keep up with that, go for it!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

New Year update.

I have deleted the previous post.  Such a tantrum!  I had the early stage of a nasty virus when I wrote it, and by Christmas Day I was quite ill.  Ken caught it in due course and by New Years day when I was just starting to come good, he went down like a ton of bricks.  So it was a very quiet Christmas/new year period for us.  Didn't go anywhere, didn't have any visitors!

Not a good start to the year, and it has continued along the same way since.  One of  Ken's oldest friends died after a long battle with cancer.  Two of my friends are on borrowed time now, as their cancers have spread and nothing more can be done.  Getting old sucks.

Ken was booked in to have his defibrillator replaced on the 18th of this month, then the hospital changed it to the 8th of February, which didn't suit us, so it is now scheduled for 15th February.  It is only a half day procedure, but Ken is still nervous about it as the first time he was in shocking pain for days afterwards.

Our chooks are continuing to provide eggs for us and our neighbours.  I'm doing most of the work feeding the birds every day and cleaning out the aviaries and chookhouse when they need it, as Ken is no longer strong enough to do it.  He does spend time up there with me on a nice day though, and he organises the specialised feeding of certain finches and parrots which I am happy to leave to him.  We both love all our bird families and spend many hours sitting up there with a cuppa and something to nibble, and watching the birds antics.

I have started the year on a roll with my sewing, as I am spending most of my time at home caring for Ken now, so I have time to sit and stitch instead of going out nearly every day with friends like I used to!   You can see what I've been up to at my other blog.  I have been infected with the "colouring in" craze, and have bought and been given a dozen books in the past year!  At least I will be putting my precious Derwent pencils to good use now.   Since the life drawing course last year, I haven't done any sketching or painting, and colouring in has been my sole activity in the world of art lately.   It really is very relaxing.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Just briefly...

Our electricity bill has been huge lately, despite having solar panels.  I have had some experts have a look at our bills and we've been told that we are using more power at night than during theday, hence the high bills.  I've got to stop spending hours online at 2 am (like now)! 

That is not what I was going to write about, I only mentioned it because I want to make this post brief so I can turn the computer off and go to bed!   Ken's second lot of CT scans last week showed that the nodule/tumour  on his lung has shrunk and disappeared, so the threat of cancer is no longer there.  That is good news of course, but the lung specialist said it was no use Ken having a valve put in his lungs as was suggested by the lung surgeon.  Dr G. seems to think it would make no difference to Ken's breathing, but Ken isn't happy with that, and is going back to the surgeon for his advice again.  

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Baby birds in our aviaries.

I have just posted photos of our newly fledged Scarlet Chested Parrots, on my birds blog 
for those who are interested.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

It's been a while.

This is why I was going to drop all my blogs a while ago...I just get sidetracked on other things and don't get time to get on here and write about day to day things.  There hasn't much much to to write about, that would interest most people anyway, until last Tuesday.  I gave Ken a gift voucher for his birthday last year.  A "Zoo Experience", behind the scenes with tigers, elephants or orangutans.  He chose the tigers and we finally booked to go on Tuesday.   I took about 60 photos and a few little video clips on my trusty digital camera, and was going to create a blog for them, but haven't got around to doing it. 
Here are a few photos and brief descriptions of an unforgettable day, which Ken says was one of the best birthday gifts he has ever had, and will take the memories to his grave.
While we were waiting for the Zoo guides to take us to the Tiger enclosure, we had a look at the new (to us) aquarium.  Love these seahorses!

We were taken to the tigers' enclosure, given a bucket of raw meat and instructed to put bits of it all over the place to give the tigers a bit of fun finding it.  Once we were back behind the fence, the two males were released from their night time enclosure into this yard.
 They didn't roar at us at any time, just yawned!


 These two girls were our guides.  So friendly and knowledgable.  We spent over half an hour with the tigers.
 There was one other couple with Ken and I, and the man had put a piece of meat up on the tree trunk.  That is his hand holding the Iphone to take a closeup photo.  Look at that paw!
 Ken gazing at at one tiger strolling past him, almost close enough to pat...I wish!
 "Haven't you people had enough of us yet?" he seems to be saying!

 After we left the Tigers, we strolled around and saw a few more beautiful creatures - this peacock had found a shady spot in the elephant enclosure.
 The elephant family.
 Lemurs.
 My zoo souvenir apron!
 And Ken's zoo souvenir mug. 

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